591 Published Reviews
Pocky & Rocky ReshrinedSwitch
With this third of Tengo Project’s revivals of classic 16-bit Natsume releases, the team has certainly saved the best for last. Pocky & Rocky Reshrined takes what was already a fantastic run ’n gun experience, enhances, and improves pretty much all of the original Pocky & Rocky’s components to masterful degrees. From its stunning graphics, to its rich gameplay, to its fleshed out cast of interesting characters, Reshrined makes its predecessor proud while also introducing an all new generation of players to a core game that’s still just as worth playing today as it was 30 years ago.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's RevengeSwitch
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge looks to bring back the glory days of Konami’s side-scrolling arcade beat ’em ups and home hits based on everyone’s favorite young green ninjas. In its visuals and gameplay, Dotemu and Tribute Games have not only matched those retro classics that they’re paying homage to here, but perhaps even surpassed them. Sadly, this trip through time is somewhat marred by inconsistent audio and an Arcade mode that feels more like a slog than a thrill.
Sniper Elite 5PC
Sniper Elite 5 is the best game in the series so far. Its intricately designed levels, deep weapon customization system, and satisfying gameplay offer hours upon hours of entertaining ways to kill Nazis.
Vampire: The Masquerade - SwansongPC
Vampire: The Masquerade — Swansong can be a compelling experience, especially for those who are already familiar with the World of Darkness. Its RPG mechanics lend depth to an otherwise standard narrative adventure, as long as you can grasp their meaning. But wonky gameplay balance and even wonkier facial animations, not to mention some of the more overwritten and under-earned emotional beats, can make falling in love with its vampires harder to swallow than a mouthful of blood.
Trek to YomiPC
Trek to Yomi is one of the most visually striking games to launch in a while, delivering on the promise that a samurai game can truly capture the look and feel of classic Japanese cinema. Unfortunately, good looks can only get you so far, as the gameplay and story don’t quite live up to the standards set by its art direction. But if you are in the mood for a samurai game, you could do worse than Trek to Yomi.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaXbox Series X|S
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga embraces a lot of what made earlier Lego games fun and a few that made them frustrating, while adding a new layer of polish and flair that’s sure to please fans. Now go grab some green milk and prepare for a galaxy spanning adventure.
Kirby and the Forgotten LandSwitch
Kirby and the Forgotten Land does pretty much everything it needs to as the pink puffball’s first 3D adventure. Clever level design and the appropriately named Mouthful Mode show that Kirby’s floating, sucking ways can work in a 3D space. Forgotten Land might not reach the highest heights of Nintendo’s other first-party adventures, but it definitely shows that Kirby can hold his own in a three-dimensional arena.
Tiny Tina's WonderlandsPC
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is fun in all the ways that Borderlands is fun, and Gearbox’s talented environmental artists also got to stretch their wings a little bit and experiment with settings you might not find in a mainline entry.
Ghostwire: Tokyo offered Japanese developer Tango Gameworks a chance to mix things up after the first two The Evil Within games, and the result is an open-world action adventure that definitely has its moments. Unfortunately, those moments come together with some missed potential and a lack of truly fleshing out all of the ideas presented. In the end, Ghostwire: Tokyo is a good game—but one that could have been something more.
Martha is DeadPC
Martha is Dead starts off strong, with an intriguing story amid a tumultuous backdrop, and a main gameplay mechanic with a ton of room to evolve. Unfortunately, the game squanders every opportunity it has to develop its story or gameplay in interesting ways, instead relying on overplayed tropes and unnecessary mechanics. While Martha is Dead's disturbing imagery might not deserve censorship, its creators betray the trust that it asks of its players, ultimately delivering a shallow experience that does more harm than good.
Elden RingXbox Series X|S
From its humble beginnings as a weird, brutally difficult new project that even its publisher had little faith in, the Souls series has grown into a vessel through which FromSoftware has helped change how we look at, and play, video games. And now, Elden Ring does the same for the Souls series itself. Years of gameplay refinements and revisions blend together with major franchise shifts such as the move to an open world and giving players far more freedom in how they set about saving said world. The result is a title that goes beyond anything Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team have given us before, both as a game and as an experience.
Horizon Forbidden WestPS5
Horizon Forbidden West builds upon the formula of the first game in smart (if not always revolutionary) ways to craft an even stronger open-world experience. The stunning visuals make for a great showpiece of what Sony’s first-party studios can accomplish on PlayStation 5, with gameplay that holds up its end of the bargain. Unfortunately, storytelling missteps and a lack of polish keep Aloy’s latest adventure just shy of joining the all-time greats.
Atari’s Recharged series has produced some fantastic remakes of classic arcade hits, but that series’ latest entry, Breakout Recharged, is definitely its weakest so far. That’s less the fault of the dev teams or the work they’ve put into these releases, and more the core game itself, as the original Breakout could only receive so much modernization before becoming a totally different game. The result is that Breakout Recharged will satisfy a specific segment of players who can enjoy its more simplistic gameplay, while leaving most everyone else wishing there’d be more to see and break here.
Dying Light 2 Stay HumanXbox Series X|S
Dying Light 2 Stay Human’s enhanced parkour and intricate level design make for some of the most fun you can have moving through a video game world, and the hand-to-hand combat is simple but effective. Most impressive is the sense of scale and gravity that makes leaping between rooftops feel so death-defying. Unfortunately, its story wallows in post-apocalyptic clichés and misanthropy, and its choice-based narrative often drops its most interesting plot threads.
About an ElfSwitch
About An Elf is a game about an elf who wants to bring about the elftopia. It’s about Princess Dam, who may or may not be a psychopath, and it’s about a cat who wants to have half-cat, half-elf babies, and about another elf who pays Dam gummy bears to tell her stupid stories. It’s about going on an adventure to fantastical places and facing off against monstrous foes, and it’s about figuring out at times overly obscure video puzzles in order to beat those foes. It’s a story about love, and loss, and hope. And, in the end, About An Elf is about five to six hours long.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six ExtractionPC
Rainbow Six Extraction takes Siege’s best parts—its characters and its gunplay—and successfully adapts them to a cooperative experience, but repetitive level design and an uneven progression system make the game feel more boring than it has any right to be. Extraction had all the elements it needed to be a great co-op “zombie” game, including an exact blueprint in Outbreak, but Ubisoft’s obsession with keeping players grinding forever won out, making Extraction feel like more of an obligation than an escape.
HALO InfiniteXbox Series X|S
Halo Infinite handles the burden of the franchise’s long history gracefully. At times, as with the campaign’s story, it can feel like developer 343 Industries is weighed down by Master Chief’s Mjolnir armor. But Infinite’s bolder design choices, like its open-world environment and Grappleshot, make it feel exciting and new. The multiplayer might play it a little safe to appease longtime fans, but if the worst thing you can say about it is that it feels like old-school Halo, then it’s doing something right. It’s Halo made for Halo fans, but there’s enough novelty to keep it feeling fresh.
Danganronpa Decadence finally brings Spike Chunsoft’s amazing murder mystery series to the Nintendo Switch, accompanied by an all-new bonus game, Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp. While the latter is fun on a shallower level, the Danganronpa games remain engrossing and engaging experiences that are just as good today as they were back when they originally saw release on the Vita. Well, almost as good, as the ports we get here see reduced visuals or performance at times due to (seemingly) being based on the previous mobile releases.
Date Night BowlingSwitch
At its basics, Date Night Bowling provides some decent bowling gameplay mixed in with the twist of trying to win over a date before the end of the 10th frame. As a concept, however, the game totally fails to capitalize on the thrill of trying to get strikes on the lane while not striking out romantically. There’s so much more that could and should have been done with the game at every level, leaving an experience that’ll keep you entertained in short bursts but wanting more in the long run.
BLUE REFLECTION: Second LightPS4
Blue Reflection: Second Light is a perfect example of judging a game on what it tried to be, and not what it isn’t. While it pales in comparison to other blockbuster Japanese role-playing games, and remains constrained by the long-standing limitations of its developer, it is an enjoyable and engrossing adventure when taken for what it is: a mid-tier RPG that brings together a group of fleshed-out characters who are trying to improve both their lives and their world. Coming off the original Blue Reflection, Second Light genuinely advances the franchise both in terms of storytelling and gameplay, offering an even better experience to those looking for this sort of game.
The massive, well-designed maps offer plenty of room for experimentation and emergent stories, and the modes are a blast. And that’s just All-Out Warfare. Between that, Hazard Zone, and the expansive Battlefield Portal, Battlefield 2042 has something for everyone, without feeling like it’s stretched too thin. It’s a true evolution of the series, one that pushes back against a stagnation that threatened the series’ future. It won’t be for everyone, but for players who crave imagination and fun from their Battlefields, it will give them everything that they crave and more.
Call of Duty: VanguardXbox Series X|S
Call of Duty: Vanguard sometimes strains under the pressure of fulfilling its obligations to the all-consuming Warzone platform that the series has become. Vanguard’s Gunsmith and Operators might dictate the game’s World War II fiction in weird and hilarious ways, but it can still offer the same thrills you’d expect. Still, there’s no denying that Vanguard feels like a watered down entry for the franchise, which is now more motivated by microtransactions than by telling a compelling World War II narrative.
Shin Megami Tensei VSwitch
Shin Megami Tensei V is the Japanese RPG equivalent of mid-century modern design, as the classic style and attitude of the series gets enhanced by—but never replaced with—simpler and sleeker refinements and modernizations. In a moment when Atlus could have given Persona’s sibling series a more market-friendly makeover, the company has instead given us a game that’s as weird, punishing, and mysterious as any previous SMT release that came before. As a longtime fan who wasn’t sure if the team at Atlus still had games like this in them, Shin Megami Tensei V is shockingly satisfying—well, as long as you don’t ask too much of its characters or story.
Forza Horizon 5Xbox Series X|S
Forza Horizon 5 delivers everything that made the last game enjoyable on a map that’s more fun to drive with a lot more visual diversity. While the changes and additions are largely incremental—especially when it comes to the core game experience—what’s here is good enough to warrant a recommendation for fans of the series or racing enthusiasts who’ve been meaning to try it out.
Marvel's Guardians of the GalaxyPS5
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy may not be able to quite match the humor of James Gunn’s MCU films, but it’s packed with plenty of personality and decently fun (if not groundbreaking) combat. To its great credit, Eidos-Montréal’s story-driven approach always keeps the focus on its ragtag team of heroes, making for a worthwhile and memorable trip to the Cosmic Marvel universe.